Everything is SPRINGing back to life!


It’s spring and I’m silly. Sunshine and warmth make me giddy and a little drunk on all the vitamin D. Spring fever is finally over and it feels as if Persephone has returned from the underworld to stay…for now.

Everything is waking up at Healcrest. In a face paced life 3 weeks can seem like a blink so in a blink the leaves have unfolded, blossoms have popped out and bloomed, birds, bugs, and bushwhackers everywhere are buzzing and humming. 

   
         

I love Spring. Everything emerges from the slumber and is excited to be warm and sunny. Throughout winter most of us have our issues with the cold, dark, slow moving way of the season. 

As if we’ve never experienced the seasonal cycle we discuss winter like it has no business being around. “Who invited her? She’s such a bore and downer.” We treat winter as an aquaintence or co-worker we don’t really want to spend time with but will be forced to, repeatedly, year after year.

I love Winter also. She reminds us to slow down, harvest and take stock of life. The chill forces us to hold closer the ones we love. It’s a special time of gestation and hibernation. I’m pretty sure the other mammals laugh at us between naps. “Those silly human running around. Don’t they know it’s cold and time to sleep more.” I lobby for longer sleep nights and a shorter work week in the winter. Holla if ya hear me!

I love Spring in its stretching gotta get to work behavior. The flowers all around remind us life is beautiful. And everything is getting busy in all the ways you get busy. The natural world is buzzing with sexual energy. Pollination, fruit, fecundity, sex. Our world is a sexy place and Spring is certainly a sexy time. Enjoy the first fruits of the season as their juices drop down your chin.

   
                 I’m so thankful for the ability to experience such beauty and excitement. I grateful to hear the bird songs, mixed with motorcycle revs, and children’s laughter. 

Life is so abundant. The lack of winter makes me appreciate the abundance and vibrancy of spring. 

May all your days be filled with abundance, joy, and wonder.

With love,

Dana

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Check Out Our Calendar of Upcoming Markets and Events


PUBLIC MARKETS

RETAIL LOCATIONS

FIND OUR ICE POPS!

FIND TEAS!

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Aquaponics at Healcrest – Part 2


Everything’s coming together. The Bottom tank will hold the fish, while the Top shelf will house delicious delicate herbs.

Savi says this is what the fish will do if you put your hand in the tank.

IMG_4430The babies move in.

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Aquaponics at Healcrest Urban Farm!



aq·ua·pon·ics

ˌäkwəˈpäniks,ˌak-/
noun
noun: aquaponics, a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.

Like so many other projects and businesses, Healcrest Urban Farm has enjoyed growth opportunities through the connection and collaboration with others. From bees to mulch and more Healcrest ‘s expansion has been supported and sometimes catalyzed by outside organizations.
Seed-Healcrest Team
The most recent expansion is brought on through a collaboration between Seed Aquaponics LLC. An organization whose mission is to build aquaponics systems worldwide while creating collaborative opportunities between students and community leaders to implement sustainable, social and economic development solutions.
Last October, aIMG_0433(1)utumn 2014, Maria and Dana began conversations with Colleen Beck of Seed Aquaponics. In need of an additional test site for an aquaponics system, Colleen looked to Healcrest Urban Farm and the high tunnel greenhouse as a possible space. After some conversations about concepts Colleen and her crew of volunteers and interns set to work. In cold Western PA winter the crew broke ground in early December and labored throughout the winter.

Now with spring right around the corner and the cold winter seems to have passed, we are ready to fill the tank! Last Saturday, March 14, the team assembled for some of the final stages in the building process and happily filled the tank. This water tank will soon to be home to tilapia and perch.

Some of the advantages of an aquaponics system, and some that the ladies or Healcrest are hoping will lean in their favor, are the creation of rich nutrients for plant to thrive as well as a more gentle and maintained environment from that of outdoor growing. The relationship between pants and fish create a lovely habitat for plant to live an grow.
Used widely in Healcrest products, Dana and Maria cultivate chamomile and red clover flowers which struggle in the Pittsburgh climate. With this indoor aquaponics system the ladies are hoping to achieve greater yields from some of those more delicate plants.
Only a few final steps to go and the system will be complete. Colleen and the Seed crew have done their jobs of building and Dana and Maria will take over in their job of stewardship. Another collaborative relationship cultivating amazing experiences and growing beneficial structures.

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We’re Headed to the Annual PASA Conference!


This weekend the women of Healcrest are headed to State College for the 24th Annual PASA Conference! pasa_logo5

PASA is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. If you want to know something about sustainable agriculture in Pennsylvania, they are your people!

The Farming for the Future Conference is a wonderful gathering of farmers, farming advocates, lobbyists, and generally interested parties.

226ea6ec-29b9-46ac-8fe1-12b35f9493ab As usual there are wonderful, inspiring keynote speakers. This year I am very excited to hear Frances Moore Lappe speak. She is the author of Diet for a Small Planet among other books examining and discussing our food system.

We have participated in the conference before but this will be the first year that Healcrest as gone as vendors as well. This year we are taking our delicious Tea, Tisane, and Herbal Ice-Pops to share with conference participants.

This event is so inspiring and a great place to connect with others of like minds. If you’ve never gone to this conference but you love sustainable agriculture I encourage you to go some time.The weekend is full of wonderful workshops from soil health to law & policy; from cover-cropping to creating an urban buying club. There is something for everyone at this conference!

We are looking forward to it and I know we will come back with wonderful things to share and grow from!

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Healcrest CSA Pick-Up at 52nd Street Market!


Hello Friends,

It’s nice to be back on the Blog after a little Harvest Hiatus.

As winter is certainly upon us we are excited to announce that Monthly CSA Pick-Up will be at 52nd Street Market at 601 52nd St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, beginning today Monday Dec 1. 5-7pm.

We’re sure you’re going to enjoy the harvest classics we’re bringing you today!

Dora and Dierdre of 52nd Street Market are sharing their cozy, warm market with us once a month so we can offer a comfortable space for our CSA members to pick-up their goodies.

In months to come, along with market directors, we will bring you samples, extra goodies, and more!

Today Dana will have some extra goodies for CSA members available for purchase and we invite anyone to come out and shop for individual Tea Boxes, Packs of Pops, and Harvest Apple and Pear Lavender Butters!!

See You at the Market!

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Late Summer Dinner at Healcrest with Grit & Grace


On September 7th 2014 at Healcrest Urban Farm located in Garfield,  Blue Collar will host its first ever participatory dinner in Pittsburgh.  The idea is simple. An all volunteer driven dinner to raise funds for groups trying to further the values of independence and hard work held so dearly by the denizens of our magnificent city. The dinner will be a three course dinner with drinks provided. Each guest will be provided 4 tokens representing 25% of their total donation. During the evgg_logoent each group will give an in depth performance showcasing their mission in Pittsburgh. At the end of the dinner the guests will give their tokens to the groups that they value the most. The chef for this particular dinner is chef de cuisine Curtis gamble of grit and grace and former executive chef at bread and wine in Chicago IL..
 
 
 
LOGOhealcrest2013_wholeHEALCREST URBAN FARM – Healcrest Urban Farm  is a women-owned urban farm and social enterprise business.   Through nurturing  abandoned urban land we empower all people to reclaim, restore and sustain our collective knowledge and health.  We grow culinary and medicinal herbs, creating an oasis of wild and cultivated plants, using our platform  in the community to offer education on food, health, and healing.  We hand blend our herbs with local seasonal fruit creating supportive tea blends and delicious ice pops that we call Tea Pops, a vehicle to open everyone to the power of herbal medicine.  Healcrest is a place of healing- both the land and ourselves. 
 
 
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GIRLS ROCK PGH -Girls rock pgh -Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is an empowerment program for female youths of all definitions, abilities and backgrounds. Girls Rock! Pittsburgh utilizes the process of making music to instill tools for amplifying self-confidence, creative expression, independent thinking, mutual respect and cooperation, while cultivating a supportive and inclusive community of peers and mentors. Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is committed to community awareness and social agency, fostering a network of role models for the endeavors of girls and women that promote social change amongst its diverse participants. Girls can play any kind of music they want. Creative voices of girls and women need to be amplified to create social change. Girls need positive role models and support for their creative endeavors. We can build a community where girls support each other rather than tear each other down. We can empower girls to recognize, understand, and respond to discrimination. “Girls Rock” is more than just a slogan.
 
 
HOMESTEAD BOYS CHOIR – AAMI Boys’ Choir, a positive community-based alternative, enables its members to experience 2822504the richness and excitement of creative expression. The benefits gained by the youth are discipline, confidence, motivation and the continual building of their self-esteem.  Additionally, the choir prepares members to be productive individuals allowing them to believe in themselves and their potential.  They learn the value of friendship and the importance of respecting self and others.
 
 
 
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Founded in 1986, Just Harvest works in Allegheny County to change the unjust public policies that create hunger and poverty. Just Harvest is a membership-based non-profit organization that is mobilizing our community, connecting people to public benefits, and advocating for a stronger anti-poverty safety net, with the aim of economic justice for all.
 

You can register & choose your level of giving, for the

Late Summer Dinner@ Healcrest Urban Farm 

by heading to our events page 

REGISTER FOR DINNER NOW!

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We’re Headed to the Regatta at Lake Arthur this Weekend!


We have a very busy weekend ahead and we are excited to see all of you at one or more of our five events!

Maria, Savi, Justice, and Suzy along are traveling North for the Annual Regatta at Lake Arthur. We were invited to join this event as a first time vendor in their Natural Vendor’s Village and we are excited to try a new market in a beautiful setting! Read More Here.

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Friday night Dana will be enjoying herself as usual and serving TeaPops and Tea at the First Friday Garfield Night Market. Always a great time full of delicious food, local arts, and good company as always with your friendly local neighborhood vendors.

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On Saturday visit Meg in the Strip District at another exciting new market, Farmers at the Firehouse. We love our weekly farmers markets, where our resident farmers get to talk with patrons, and where we bring out some of our other products and service. Keep an eye out for bouquets, herb bundles, apothecary items, classes at the farm, and sign ups for our Fall/Winter herbal CSA!

130166945824.131.255.120Also on Saturday you can find Michelle holding it down at the Bloomfield Saturday Farmers Market. Stroll along the market this week and enjoy live music with BeLove, food and wellness demos, and always delicious food. Come to the Healcrest PopUp for Hot & Iced Tea, TeaPops, and check out Cutting Root Apothecary products. Talk to Michelle about all the wonderful benefits of herbal wellness support.

 

 

 

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Healcrest TeaPops Now at East End Food Coop! Join Us THIS Sunday for a Delicious Sampling Event!


GUESS WHAT IS NOW IN THE FREEZER CASE AT THE EAST END FOOD COOP?

IMG_3268We are VERY excited to bring our artisanal TeaPops to the East End Food Coop! Now you can enjoy individual pops for your immediate refreshment needs, as well as, take home a variety pack of 3 different flavors.

Enjoy our Tea Favorites variety pack complete with two each Nettle Vanilla Ice, Bergamot Creme, and PGH’s favorite, Coconut Chai. Also enjoy our Summer Season Variety Pack including 2 each Cherry Calendula, Nectarine + Tulsi (holy Basil), and Cucumber Cilantro Lime. All deliciously refreshing and comforting whatever the mood or weather.

This new market is a BIG one for us! Many of us shop at, have volunteered, or been employed by the coop for years. We have a long personal relationship with the Coop and its members and it is such a pleasure and a personal achievement to experience OUR OWN products on Coop shelves.

We’re inviting all of our regular patrons to go to the Coop and make TeaPop purchases. Show your support for the Coop as they support us in our growing business!

Join us at the Coop this Sunday, August 3rd, 2014,coopLogo from 11-2pm for a delicious sampling event. Come visit Meg as she shares a large variety of our mini sample pops. Enjoy!

One block around the corner of Penn & Braddock, 7516 Meade Street Pittsburgh, PA 15208 is the wonderful little market and cafe of the East End Food Coop. If you’ve never been, be sure to visit for a great collection of local and organic goods and products.

VISIT THESE OTHER GREAT RETAIL LOCATIONS

FIND TEAPOPS!

  • Biddle’s Escape 401 Biddle Avenue 15221 (Regent Square)

FIND TEAS!

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Healcrest Introduces CSA for the Fall/Winter Season!


Community Supported Agriculture allows farmers to remain financially sustainable while connecting members to the bounty of seasonal, local food. Members buy a share of the year’s harvest at the beginning of the season and receive weekly boxes of in-season produce. Healcrest Farm is building upon the CSA model to offer herbal medicines and healing products on a monthly schedule. Our Community Supported Apothecary invites you to explore medicinal plants, learning as you heal. Register Here

How does it work?
CSA membership is a great way to build a home supply of herbal medicines, learn more about how to use local plants, and explore new ways of being in control of our own health.

Each month for six months you’ll receive organically grown herbs and artisanal herbal products. Our CSA gives you the opportunity to try medicinal natural healing products you’ve been curious about and gain knowledge as you learn how your body heals. You’ll be able to pick your share up each month, warming you through the winter, and meeting with the women who grow and make all the products.

Microsoft Word - csabrochure.docx

What is in a share?

Each share supplies you with seasonally appropriate medicines and products. Some herbal preparations you can expect to receive this season from October to March are:
~ Herbal Honeys
~ Nourishing Tea Blends
~Infused Healing Oils
~Salves
~ Elixirs: general well being & immune boosting
~Tea Pops!
~ …And More

You will receive educational information every month about the plants included in your share products, and suggestions on how to use them.

Why Join?
When you purchase a share, it helps support the work we do revitalizing the land, growing and processing the herbs into useful natural medicines that nourish the body and enhance vitality. In return, you will receive a variety of herbs that support good health and the health of the environment, while also preserving the agricultural character of our wonderful community.

Join Up Here!

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